- 5 years ago
- Wedding: May 2013
Where to start? This will be long… please read compassionately. Often I see advice along the lines of “just get rid of them” but I’m looking for a little more support/help than that.
So, I’ve always had issues with my mother. She’s been convinced all my life that I’m crazy, evil, manipulative, mean, etc… I mean always – apparently I cried too much the first night I was born and she’s “always known” since then… she still gets mad at me for having temper tantrums when I was a child – really, I see this as a woman who was just so overwhelmed with a new baby – some kind of postpartum depression that threw her off, I suspect its something along the lines of Borderline Personality Disorder but she’s never been diagnosed with anything except for PTSD but noone can identify what the trauma was. This was when the police came to the house because of suicide threats and she told me she “managed to talk her way out of it so she could go home.”
Long story short, she has – her own – way of seeing things that doesn’t exactly line up with reality, in my opinion. I don’t understand a mother who can be convinced her child is a terrible person. She rages uncontrollably, is extremely paranoid, self-centered, talks bad about me to family and friends, thinks I need “re-education” and “punishment”…etc. Final straw is yesterday she texts Fiance to tell him “the truth” about me to save him from me. The truth being all her accusations against my dad and how she thinks I am a psychopath. Thank goodness he is a mature adult and disregards her bombardment of messages.
Now, just because I told you all that, I have to mention she has threatened to kill herself “if I don’t get my ass home right now” and her brother and sister are “dead to her”, as well as her own father. She sends threatening letters to my dad’s side of the family (they’ve been divorced for over 15 years) about choking my baby cousin who she hs never met. She said this was “a metaphor” and she “was trying to make a point.”
Anyways, I grew up thinking this was normal, now I can see she is extremely emotionally abusive. My parents are divorced, my Dad just couldn’t handle her any more. The way divorce laws go in this country means kids usually end up with their mothers, and after her accusations of him being physically abusive (I can’t say that it didn’t happen but I have a hard time believing it because I don’t EVER remember my dad being at all violent and he’s still sad about my mom, though if he lost it once I can’t blame him because she’s infuriating!!!) the courts gave my mom primary custody and we saw Dad maybe one night a week.
Fast-forward to now. I moved in with my dad when I was 16 and left for university at 18 (I’m now 24), my little sister is 18 and still going by the custody agreement as laid out by the courts even though she’s an ADULT legally because she’s terrified of my mom and feels so so guilty. I love her, and its hard to see her swallowed up into mom’s craziness. I don’t know how to be there for her/have a relationship because she’s been convinced I’m “bad.” She doesn’t return calls or texts and we facebook chat occasionally. Its always very polite and superficial (I think partly because Mom monitors everything). When we do hang out though we have so much fun. I miss her!
Now, this is the tricky part and why I need some help. Mom has terminal cancer.
Despite it all, and probably because of her guilt-tripping, I feel really awful for her. She’s my mother and I love her. She has good times too, when we do crafts together or go shopping or cook lunch, you know? I’ve always wanted a mom – like the normal kind – not even normal, cause I know that’s such a stretch. Something resembling normal, where she’s actually happy for you for getting married and thinks you’re great most of the time.
Now Christmas is coming up and I’m torn. FI has said he will see her but doesn’t want to stay over at her house because it makes him extremely uncomfortable – which I can understand because his family is nice, and stable, and when they fight they get over it in a healthy way. My mom freaks him out (she lost it on us at Thanksgiving because we only called an hour and a half before we got there instead of at 6 am 4 hours away). I told her we will spend Christmas with her for a day or so but we won’t be staying over (we have 4 days in town to split between 3 families). This is completely “unacceptable” and she hung up on me. Then I get emails about she’s dying, this is her last Christmas, etc. So of course I feel like shit, but glad that I stood up for myself and said we’re not going by her rules.
I just don’t know what to do here. Part of me wants to cut her out of my life, and part of me feels sorry for her, and part of me wants my mom. She just can’t accept that I’m my own person. To give in and just let her be herself destroys me emotionally. She pretty much has no one except my sister – which is such a huge burden and I don’t want my sister to hate me. The hard part of me says she’s done it to herself and the soft part of me wishes I could help her – clean the house, go to cancer appointments, etc. I hope our family friends can be mature and see how she is and why I’m so distant, but I hate being the bad daughter, luckily she thinks my sister is perfect. She refuses to go to counselling unless its to “fix” me. We tried once and she screamed at the counsellor for an hour when they said its unacceptable to manipulate people with suicide threats and then we left and she won’t go for it again. I don’t know if we’ll ever repair our relationship so I don’t know if I should try. Or maybe I’ve given her too many chances and she’s alienated herself from the family for a reason. Maybe its just a lost cause. This is starting to impact my relationship with Fiance because it makes me very emotional, not to mention her weird messages.
What would you do? Have you dealt with a mom like this? Am I being too harsh/too soft?